By: Genalyn D. Kabiling
Malacañang has called on Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno to resign to spare the Judiciary from further damage arising from an impeachment bid against her.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. cautioned that the Judiciary could not survive another impeachment a few years after the ouster of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.
“It is high time now for the Chief Justice to re-examine very carefully the effect of another removal to the institution itself. It cannot be that there will be a second instance a sitting Chief Justice will be removed as a result of the decision of the Senate. We cannot wait for that,” Roque said in a Palace news conference.
“If we were to wait for that, it is finding of guilt that will undermine the independence of the Judiciary so I call upon Chief Justice Sereno to really consider resigning if only to spare the institution from any further damage,” he added.
Roque said President Duterte also wants Sereno to resign. “Of course, the President wants her removed altogether by all means.”
“Like (then Commission on Elections chair) Andy Bautista, she could spare the court from further damage by voluntarily resigning,” he added.
Sereno is currently facing an impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives on allegations of violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
The complaint, which stemmed from allegations of Sereno’s lavish lifestyle and failure to declare her true wealth, has been declared sufficient in form and substance by the House Committee on Justice.